SRINAGAR: Researchers have found that Covid-19 has severely affected people’s daily lives and mental health, increasing their stress, fear of getting sick and financial strain.
“Our hypothesis for continuing research is that it’s getting worse. The longer this goes on, the less resilient we are going to be,” said a study researcher Clare Cannon from the University of California, Davis in the US.
For the study published in the journal Sustainability, the research team surveyed 374 people online using social media, websites and other outlets, mostly in the US over a 10-week period beginning from April.
Those surveyed were asked about previous disaster experiences, their resilience, perceived stress, current situation related to Covid-19, and personal and household demographics. Respondents had filled questionnaires before masks were mandatory, closures were prolonged, job losses had occurred and prior to the full realisation that the world was experiencing a global economic recession and a deadly public health crisis.
The study’s authors sought to look at the role of perceived stress, assess demographic variables and add to the literature on disasters, infectious diseases and resilience.
The findings showed that just 28 days, on an average into the pandemic, two-thirds of the survey respondents reported moderate-to-high levels of stress. Most of the respondents were female (75 per cent), well-educated, white and employed at the time.
The authors said the research points to the need for solutions for a population facing so much uncertainty.
“Given the findings from the study, governments must mitigate the risks associated with a pandemic by providing the much-needed resources for individuals, households and communities to maintain resilience over a long period of time,” the authors concluded.
“The uncertain end of Covid-19 requires governments to offer a buffer against the pandemic impact and to ultimately reduce stress to create optimal health and well-being for citizens facing adversity,” the reasearchers observed.
Recently, a study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences found that if people knew more about Covid-19, the less pandemic-related stress they will exhibit.(IANS)